Sunday, September 20, 2009

Canning Workshop - Many Hands Make for Light Work

In the photo from left to right: Me, Jim Finnerty, Judith Lerner, Jacque Metsma, Carol Way, Kevin Charlton, Doreen, Sandy, DonaSenecal, Margot and Serene Mastrianni.

My grandmother's wisdom was evident on Thursday night (the 17th) when I hosted a canning workshop for Berkshire Grown's "Preserving the Bounty" month when 10 people diligently chopped, diced or minced 20 lbs of tomatoes, 5 lbs of onions, 10 green peppers, 20 jalapenos, 20 cloves of garlic and 2 dozen ears of corn in 30-40 minutes. If I had taken on the task by myself, which I frequently do, it would have been hours.
Anyhow, what fun we had! And the result was 40 pints of corn and black bean salsa. Here's the recipe for about 1/5 of what made:

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

4 lbs tomatoes, chopped and drained

2 1/2 cups onions, chopped

1 1/2 cups green peppers

1 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 cup canning salt

1/3 cup vinegar

1 (15 ounce) tomato sauce

1 (12 ounce) tomato paste

1 (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups fresh corn kernels

Equipment: boiling water canner,canning jars, canning funnel, rubber spatula, jar lifter and/or tongs

First, prepare your jars as follows:

Place cans on rack of boiling water canner, add water until the pint jars are about 2/3rds full. Cover and bring to a simmer. This process kills any bacteria. In a small saucepan, place the lids - the flat, round piece, cover and bring to a simmer. The screw bands do not need to sterilized.

Then, start your vegetables:

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occassinally for about 5 minutes.

Now you are ready to start canning your salsa:

One jar at a time, remove from canner, pouring hot water back into canner, place jar on flat heat-resistant surface. Ladle salsa into jar leaving about a half inch of headspace, wipe the rim and threads with a paper towel. ( This is important to make sure vacuum seal can occur). Lift a hot lid with your tongs and place on jar and then screw the lid with your fingertips until tight. Place back in canner with tongs. Repeat until done.

Cover all jars with additional water by an inch or so. Cover canner and bring to a boil. The boiling must be continuous and rapid for 15 minutes. Remove lid, let sit for about 5 minutes or so. Remove jars without tilting, place jars on a towel in a draft-free spot and allow to cool for 24 hours. Store in a cool dark place for up to a year.

This recipe will yield about 6 pint jars. Enjoy!!

1 comment:

  1. I shall definitely try this. Healthy and compatible with my weight-loss agenda. I don't know about the canning, though. Last year I made some Weekapaug beach plum jam. Tasted very good, especially after I made a second batch and added ground orange peel and chopped walnuts. Gave most away. Sugar! If I ever do can anything again, this is the place for guidance! Top quality work, Carole!